This Taiyo Jet Hopper MK3 (Global) is a 1:16 scale radio control car released into the European and other English/French speaking markets in 1987.
It is the international version of the original Taiyo Jet Hopper MK3 (Japan).
The last of the ‘original’ Jet Hopper chassis cars, it is largely unchanged, keeping all the important features that made it the game changer of the 80s, while improving on some areas which were a weakness with the MK1 and MK2.
Why buy a Jet Hopper MK3 instead of a MK1 or MK2?
While it may be nice to consider owning the original MK1 or MK2 Jet Hopper, it’s virtually impossible to buy one in good condition today due to the tires almost always being ‘melted’ or decomposed, even if it’s not immediately obvious in the photos from the seller.
Worse, once you do get one running the steering on all MK1 and MK2 models is what I call ‘passive’ – it only works when you’re moving forward or backwards! Thankfully this was resolved in the MK3, but is a general problem with all the earlier 80s Taiyo RC cars.
With an increased top speed of 27km/h, far better active steering, and improved tires (among other changes) the MK3 is the best of the original.
Complete feature set includes…
- 9.6V ‘Turbo’ 8xAA Battery Power
- LED Power Light
- *Improved Off-Road Front and Rear Air-Filled Tires
- *Active Steering (does not require driving forward to turn)
- *Improved Top Speed of 27Km/h (17mph)
- All Round Shock Absorbers
- Solid front bumper
- Spare tire on rear
- 2-Speed Gearbox
*designates new for this model
While the original Taiyo Jet Hopper MK3 is Made in Japan, as is typical for international releases, this ‘Global’ (English) model is Made in Singapore to the same high quality standards.
If you can only buy one Jet Hopper, make it the MK3.
Not only does it have the best performance and features, but the materials used for the front/rear tires have stood the test of time better.
So far we haven’t seen any rubber rot issues affecting these models after 30 years, though storage method (exposed to UV, moisture, etc.) can still have dramatic impacts upon all materials, so keep it safe, and always look very closely at all photos before buying anything online.